Prescott led the Cowboys to a 13-3 regular season record during the 2016-2017 NFL season and the NFC’s No. 1-overall spot in the playoffs. However, the playoff run was short-lived, with the Cowboys falling to the Green Bay Packers in an NFC Divisional Round game, 34-31.
In the losing effort, Prescott was 24-for-38 passing for 302 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. He will undoubtedly be the starting quarterback for the Cowboys again during the 2017-2018 season.
Here’s what you need to know about Prescott, his journey to the NFL and his first NFL season:
1. Prescott Was One of The Greatest Players in Mississippi State University History
Attending Mississippi State University, there was no secret as to the type of QB Prescott was. He offers a dual-threat skill set with his quick legs and strong arm along with his high IQ. He holds all major school passing records and is widely considered the best player in school history. During his senior season, Prescott passed for 3,793 yards for the Bulldogs to go along with 29 touchdowns and five interceptions. He holds the school records for touchdowns (115), offensive yards (11,985), rushing yards (2,531) and touchdowns by a quarterback (41), among many others.
In 2015, Prescott continued to raise eyebrows when he threw for five touchdown passes and ran for two more in the Bulldogs’ 51-50 shootout victory against Arkansas.
Prescott was named a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, a semifinalst for the Maxwell Award and the Davey O’Brien Award and was placed on the watch list for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award.
As a senior, Prescott made headlines when he and two of his Bulldogs teammates were attacked on Spring Break during a concert.
Despite the gaudy numbers, most analysts projected Prescott to be drafted on day No. 2 of the draft.
2. The Cowboys Drafted Prescott in the 4th Round in 2016
Prescott, 6-foot-2 and 226 pounds, had to wait patiently to hear his name called in the 2016 draft. He was selected on day No. 2, 135th overall in the fourth round by the Dallas Cowboys. He ran a 4.79 second 40-yard dash at the combine and impressed NFL scouts with his 32.5-inch vertical jump.
There was little doubt once training camp rolled around that Prescott was the No. 2 option behind center after Romo, and he seemed to be a shoe-in to replace the veteran once he decides to hang it up – or if injuries force him to. In fact, Jerry Jones put the search for a veteran QB on hold in mid-August because of his confidence in the rookie.
Prescott has continued to impress in his short time in a Dallas jersey as the team heads to the playoffs as the NFC’s No. 1 seed with Prescott under center.
So much so, that many news outlets selected Prescott No. 1 overall in a 2016 “re-draft,” including NFL.com.
Prescott has widely been considered as one of the best draft “steals” in its history.
Him, paired with rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys’ stellar cast of an offensive line, will have a bye during Wildcard Weekend.
3. Prescott’s Mother, Peggy, Died in 2013 After a Battle With Cancer
Peggy Prescott, Dak’s mother, died in 2013 after a battle with colon cancer at the age of 52. She was the single mom of three boys and raised them in a trailer park in Princeton, Louisiana, where she worked as the manager for the I-220 travel plaza.
She had fought the disease for over a year, but died Nov. 3, 2013. Peggy kept the diagnosis a secret from Dak until a month before his sophomore season at MSU.
According to the New York Daily News, Prescott said, “you couldn’t tell she had anything wrong with her. She was a warrior.”
Throughout his first NFL season, Prescott has found various ways to honor his late mother. In early December, Prescott wore cleats honoring Peggy during a game.
Following getting drafted by the Cowboys, Prescott was given the number 10 to wear on his jersey. However, Prescott requested a change to No. 4 to honor Peggy, whose birthday is Sept. 4.
Prescott also points to the sky after a big play to honor Peggy in heaven and writes the word “faith” on his wrist tape prior to games, according to The Times.
According to WFAA, Dak has the word “mom” tattooed on his wrist, which doubles in meaning.
Peggy had the motto, “mind over matter” prior to her death, and Prescott uses the tattoo to remind him of not just Peggy, but also her motto.
4. Prescott Avoided a DUI Conviction, But Teams Passed on Him Because of It
Prior to being drafted, Prescott saw his future NFL career be in hot water. In March, Prescott was stopped for speeding in his 2016 Cadillac Escalade in the early morning in Starkville, Miss. He was arrested and charged with driving under the influence following the incident, scared some teams away from drafting him.
However, according to the Clarion Ledger, an investigation showed that the result of Prescott’s breathalyzer test showed an invalid sample. The officer tested once again and Prescott then blew an insufficient sample. He was released on bond in good condition and without incident, and he was found not guilty in July because of the inconclusive tests.
Even with the headlines about the accusation of DUI, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said publicly that he didn’t pass on Dak because of his high character and leadership level.
5. Prescott Will Make About $2.5 million on his Rookie Contract
Shortly after being drafted, Prescott signed his rookie contract with the organization, worth $2.45 million over four seasons. He will make a guaranteed base salary of $450,000 his rookie year with no bonuses. Next season, he’s due to make $540,000 and will make $630,0000 guaranteed in 2018.
The final year of his contract — barring a contract restructure — he will make $720,000. And that’s all without any endorsements.
In 16 starts, Prescott completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 3,667 yards, 23 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions. He had a QBR of of 81.7 and rushed for 282 yards and 6 touchdowns.